Keynan Middleton Yankees

Arnab Bose

EXPLORED: Who Are The Latest Bullpen Targets For The New York Yankees?

The New York Yankees gave a lot of pitchers and catchers away for the Juan Soto trade. However, last season, if anything good, then it was the depth in the pitching department of the NY side. Otherwise, the 27-time champions had a season to forget in 2023. It was really disappointing for the fans who have been waiting for their favorite team to win the World Series after so many years. However, last year, they could not even make the postseason. Moreover, they finished with a horrible 82-80 record. The NY side had a pretty bad offense. It was one of the worst, and as a result, the Yankees had the second-worst batting average last year. However, they made significant changes this winter.

They landed the best hitter available in the league. Besides Juan Soto, the Bronx Bombers also brought in Trent Grisham and Alex Verdugo. As a result, the Yankees outfield looks pretty solid now. But the pitching situation has been worsening. Moreover, the NY side has been doing their best to add more depth in their bullpen. Lately, they signed Marcus Stroman for a two-year deal worth $37 million. Now, Brian Cashman has been looking to add a few more pitchers. 

   

Yankees Targeting More Bullpen Additions

Hector Neris
Houston Astros relief pitcher Hector Neris. Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

After doing some remarkable work in the offseason about their outfield, the Pinstripes are targeting pitchers at this point to increase depth. Over the past few weeks, the Yankees have been talking to a lot of pitchers. The pitcher that has come closest to signing with the Bronx Bombers in the last few weeks is the righty Hector Neris. Andy Martino of SNY mentioned that the Yankees sure have talked to the 34-year-old right-hander. But the pitcher might be looking at some serious offers from teams outside New York. Moreover, Jack Curry Of YES Network suggests Neris won’t land with the Yankees. According to Curry, the Bronx Bombers have a better shot at reuniting with lefty Wandy Peralta and the right-hander Keynan Middleton.

Martino reported that Neris has been looking for a one or two-year deal where he would get $7MM to $11MM. It will become a little bit difficult for the NY side, who is a third-time CBT offender. And they are also in the final tier of luxury tax penalties. Hence, if they sign Neris, the Yankees would have to pay him somewhere between $14.7MM and $24.2MM this year. Moreover, any extra spending on free agents would come with a luxury hit of 110%. Hence, the Yankees will surely look for lower-cost alternatives.

Cashman Might Go For Peralta And Middleton

Wandy Peralta Yankees
Wandy Peralta Yankees Source: FanSided

Peralta is 32 years old. He has been part of the NY side’s bullpen for the last three seasons. Since 2021, Peralta has pitched over 153 innings, posting 2.82 ERA, along with 10.2% walk rate and 21% strikeout rate. Moreover, he likes to keep the ball to the ground with a 56.5% ground ball rate. Moreover, he manages hard contact pretty well. As per Statcast data, Peralta has better than 88% rate of opponent’s average exit velocity in each of the previous four seasons.

On the other hand, the Yankees picked Middleton right before the deadline last year. He posted 1.88 ERA along with 12.5% walk rate and 30.4% strikeout rate. However, he could not pitch much in September because of inflammation in his right shoulder. Albeit, Middleton made one final appearance on September 29. 

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